Jun 01, 2023

The behavior of a bully is somewhat similar to how Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) torments a victim. A bully tries to establish control over the victim, and in fact that’s what OCD does as well. That is why OCD is sometimes known as the “internal bully” or the “enemy within”. It’s no wonder why bullying often triggers OCD for the victim.

Typical bullies control the victims from outside – control is one of the key reasons why bullies do what they do. It is quite likely that these bullies have had difficult home situations where they were controlled a lot at home. They often act out outside the home trying to work out their frustrations by bullying other children and controlling them. In fact when I had my interesting encounter in my adult years with the worst bully from my school days, one of the things he mentioned to me was that his negative home environment had contributed in turning him into a bully, trying to exercise control over other kids.

OCD tries to control the victim in somewhat similar fashion. It keeps making the victim feel that if he/she does not do something in a particular way, something bad will happen to them. That is the way OCD tries to control the victim from within. Eventually with the help of therapy and medication, the victim learns to neutralize the power of OCD.

However, overall the similarities are interesting, and that is why it is easy to understand why many victims of bullying end up having to deal with OCD or other anxiety disorders.

May 26, 2023

Many managers and supervisors across the country have never received training in developing communication skills. They often believe, incorrectly, that bullying employees is the only way to get them to perform. If these managers and supervisors were trained properly on effective communication, incidents of bullying and harassment in the workplace will go down drastically.

A manager or a supervisor needs to be able to communicate effectively with each and every employee within his or her group. And the same communication approach does not typically work for all employees. That is the most important thing to understand.

Employees have different personalities and come from different social, emotional or educational backgrounds. That is why it makes sense that one communication approach may not work for all employees.

Managers and supervisors who are well trained know that employees get motivated for a wide variety of reasons. Some get motivated because of financial benefits, some get motivated because of a respectable position, some get motivated because of an exciting project, some get motivated because of career opportunities, while some others may be motivated simply because of the kind of work they do. A well trained manager can then customize his/her interactions with the various employees to keep them all motivated in the workplace.

Of course, there are always some managers and supervisors who are not trainable – they will always know only one way to manage people – and that is what causes the issues in the workplace.

May 19, 2023

We all know that prevention of child sexual abuse is not an easy task, especially when in many cases the offenders are trusted adults. That is why it is even more important to make sure we don’t put children in a potentially risky situation. We can at least try to prevent the preventable situations.

That is the main point I try to make in my book titled “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse”. There are things that one can do to be more careful about putting children in situations that can be harmful for them.

In the true account story I describe in the book, a single mother, with 2 young daughters, starts dating a convicted child molester, without knowing that he is a convicted child molester. But then, even after learning about his recent troubling past, she continues to allow the two young daughters to come in regular contact with him. The question is whether or not this is a potentially risky situation for the kids?

We can argue about this for hours, but in my view, when we are talking about prevention, this is an excellent example of when it will be a good idea to keep the children away until the mother is much more confident about her relationship with the person. It is important to take this precaution and I believe that most people will understand if the mother decides to take precautions of this nature.

May 11, 2023

On my facebook page I post on a weekly basis on the topics covered by my four books. It appears that the topic covered by my third book (How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer) seems to be the most controversial. Many people agree that there are things one can do in order to fight back against workplace bullying and harassment, but there are many others who believe there is nothing one can do in situations like this.

It is probably true that in some situations there really is nothing much one can do. For example, in a small town, in a small company or in a very small business setting, a worker may not have a lot of options. In such situations it is possible that if one brings up the matter to one’s employer, it might result in termination, and with not many reasonable available options, the employee may not want to pursue the matter.

But there are many other situations where employees simply do not want to pursue the matter even if there are other options available to the employees. One reason could be that most employees are peace-loving people and just do not want to deal with the issues involved in complaining about things of this nature. Also there are employees who love their jobs so much that they do not want to rock the beat. All that is okay as long as it does not affect the employees’ mental health. I strongly believe that a person must do something to address the situation if he/she feels that her mental health is being impacted.

May 04, 2023

At many of my presentations based on my book titled “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse”, discussions often come up as to whether or not single mothers with young children should date convicted child molesters. This is of course a personal question that each person will need to decide based on her own situation. However, my opinion is that a single mother with young children must be extremely careful and make sure that the situation does not create any kinds of risks for her children.

If a single mother chooses to date a known child molester, then she must do so without ever involving her children or allowing them to meet her date. This statement may come across as common sense to many people, and many would argue that no one should date a known child molester to begin with!

I felt the need to specifically mention this as I have run into a similar situation with a very close friend of mine. I happened to learn from this single mother friend of mine that she had begun dating a convicted child molester. In the case of this woman, her date had pleaded guilty to groping and kissing a little girl once in a public place. Though this woman insisted that the guy had turned himself in and told her about his criminal record on their first date, I still would not recommend dating someone with any history of mistreating kids in a sexual manner.

Having said that, I would like to point out, given her choice to still date him, this woman dealt with the matter in a way that posed no risks to her children. To begin with, this woman took it upon herself to immediately inform her children’s father about her date’s criminal history. She also resolved from the start that she would never allow her date to meet her two children, until they became adults, no matter how far their relationship may progress.

Apr 27, 2023

In some of my presentations I focus on racial inequality and its impact on the society. It emphasizes the fact that ability to accept differences in people and to promote unbiased positive interactions are key ingredients for overall success for students and for all of us as a society. If on a regular basis a child is concerned about having to deal with negative issues/events/incidents because he or she is perceived to be racially ‘different’, it is simply not possible for the child to focus on important academic and social aspects of school life. Eventually it can also lead to long lasting negative impact far beyond the school years. When a person is bullied because of how he/she looks or how his/her name is spelled or pronounced, it can create major negative long-lasting impact for years to come. These presentations demonstrate how bullying based on cultural/racial differences can cause severe mental health issues for the victim, with a long-lasting impact that typically derails the victim from his/her normal developmental track.

The presentations focus on the fact that all school staff, children, and parents have a role in maintaining an unbiased and safe environment in schools and elsewhere in our society. When we talk about a safe environment we must include discussions about creating and maintaining an atmosphere where ALL children can feel free to be themselves and learn most effectively at their own pace. It should be an environment where no children will feel the need to wonder if he or she is different from others and what that would mean. If all school staff, students, and parents can work together to develop a culture where differences in people are accepted as a normal way of life, then all children will be able to attain a strong emotional health and it will have a long lasting positive impact. The most effective way to create and maintain a safe emotional environment is by promoting acceptance of differences in people and sending out the message that we are stronger because of our differences.

Apr 20, 2023

The title for one of my presentations is: “Ethical and legal issues associated with a negative workplace culture”. This presentation is based on my recently published book titled “How to stand up to workplace bullying and take on an unjust employer”. This presentation is especially suitable for an audience of company owners, managers, supervisors, and their employees because the true account story describes a negative office culture in a workplace and the resulting legal ramifications.

This presentation includes discussions on many different issues that could be useful and appropriate for this audience:

  • Inappropriate handling of workplace bullying and harassment issues
  • Inadequate response to reports of workplace bullying and harassment
  • Undeserved consequences for doing the right things at work
  • Inappropriate handling of various forms of discrimination in the workplace
  • Involvement of the Department of Human Rights
  • Unjust termination for whistleblowing
  • Involvement of labor union, if applicable
  • Fighting back through the legal system

This presentation will be useful for employees and employers in all organizations where the goal is to maintain a harmonious workplace environment.

Apr 13, 2023

I wrote my book titled “Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse” because of the following reasons:

  • To describe a true account story that focuses on prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • The story is about “intervention” and “prevention” and the numerous challenges faced in the process
  • To bring about an awareness of the associated issues that require immediate attention
  • To emphasize the fact that the challenges can be overcome if we are truly conscientious about prevention and are willing to work through a multidisciplinary approach
  • To discuss what could have been done differently in this specific case to promote a more preventive mindset
  • To demonstrate:
    • How a situation can pose risks for children
    • Reactions of authorities (such as law enforcement and child protection) to a preventive situation
    • Reluctance of family members to take preventive actions
    • Helplessness of at-risk children
  • To share the experience to emphasize the point that at-risk children can use all the help they can get

Apr 06, 2023

Whenever I speak at schools or in front of a group of parents, I always try to make the point that teenagers don’t always come out and tell adults about what is bothering them. It is very important for school officials and parents to work together to make sure that the children can trust that the adults in their lives will listen to their issues and would do something about them.

Here are some comments made by various teenagers about things happening in their lives:

“But what some people don’t understand, is that you can’t throw someone into therapy, and expect them to be better with a snap of a finger. It can take up to months, or years, for someone to recover. It wasn’t working, so my dad took me out of therapy, and forgot about my depression. Now, I struggle with depression, and my dad doesn’t want to believe that I have it. I confide in my friends, and in my closest relatives for help.”

“I don’t really have any one to talk to in my life except my best friend but she lives in Canada”

“I try to tell my parents but sometimes I tell them like come downstairs with me and they call me a little kid and there is nothing to worry about, it’s your own house and I feel like I have no one to talk to about it.”

If the parents and the school staff work together, it is very likely that the children will receive the help they need to move forward in their lives.

Mar 30, 2023

Supervisors/managers in a company are highly responsible for developing and maintaining an environment that does not tolerate workplace bullying. There are many supervisors/managers who do a good job in this aspect. However, there are also many who simply are not capable of creating and maintaining a positive environment. The following are some of the characteristics of a supervisor who in fact helps in creating a negative environment in the workplace:

  • The supervisor is generally hostile in nature in almost any situations
  • The supervisor is loud and extremely harsh with many employees
  • Promotes an environment of super autocratic control and believes that it is the only way to manage things
  • The supervisor is constantly demonstrating signs of anger and frustration
  • The supervisor is acting like a prison guard at all times
  • There is a constant show of temper and hostility
  • The supervisor promotes an environment that allows peer-to-peer bullying
  • The supervisor shouts and yells at employees for no apparent reasons
  • The supervisor is focused more on scaring tactics while dealing with employees
© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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